Workshop on Meditative Visual Experiences in Buddhist Traditions

The Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and Faculty of Divinity at Cambridge University are pleased to invite all interested parties to a Workshop on Meditative Visual Experiences in Buddhist Traditions, hosted at the Faculty of Divinity and virtually on April 28th and 29th 2023.

Date and Time: April 28-29, 2023
Runcie Room, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge or on Zoom
To attend in-person, RSVP here.
Registration is open until the end of Friday, April 21st.
To attend virtually via Zoom, RSVP here. Registration is open until the end of Thursday April 27th.

The workshop aims to bring together scholars and experts worldwide to share their research on meditative visual experiences in various Buddhist traditions, including Theravāda, Sarvāstivāda, Mahāyāna, and Vajrayāna perspectives, with a special session on theYogalehrbuch, a meditation manual from Central Asia.

A provisional schedule of speakers and their papers is provided below. Complete and up-to-date information will be made available on the registration pages advertised above.


Provisional Schedule and Speakers
All time in BST (London; GMT+1)

Thursday April 27th
15.00 onwards: Accommodation Check-in at Selwyn College, Grange Rd, Cambridge CB3 9DQ

Friday April 28th: Runcie Room, Faculty of Divinity
0900 – 0915: Arrival and registration
0915 – 0930: Opening address (Prof Imre Galambos, University of Cambridge)
Chair for morning session: Dr Andrew Skilton, University of Oxford

0930 – 1015: Visual experience and the body in pre-modern meditation manuals from Sri Lanka (Prof Kate Crosby, University of Oxford)

1015 – 1100: Peeling Lotus Pedals: Meditative Visual Experiences in Theinngu Tradition of Myanmar (Dr Pyi Phyo Kyaw, Shan State Buddhist University)

1100 – 1130: Coffee/tea – served on site at Divinity Faculty
1130 – 1215: Visualising the Buddha in Pre-modern Thai Meditation (Dr Phibul Choompolpaisal, Mahidol University)

1215 – 1300: Unthinkable Visions: Meditative Visual Experiences in the Dhammakaya Tradition (Dr Chanida Jantasrisalai, DIRI)

1300 – 1415: Lunch – at Selwyn College; speakers and helpers to receive meal tickets
Chair for the afternoon session: Prof Imre Galambos, University of Cambridge
1415 – 1500: Dunhuang Manuscript S.2585: Meditative Techniques and Visual Experiences in Foshuo Guan Jing (Phra Kiattisak Ponampon, University of Cambridge)
1500 – 1545: Visualisation, Meditation and Ritual Practice in Dunhuang’s Esoteric Buddhism (Prof Henrik Sørensen, Ruhr University Bochum, ERC sponsored BuddhistRoad Project)

1545 – 1615: Coffee/tea – served on site at Divinity Faculty
1615 – 1700: Visualisation and its Absence as a Factor of Demarcation Between Mahāyoga and Dzogchen (Dr Dylan Esler, 84000 Translation Project)

1700 – 1745: Visualising the Buddha/Brahmā in Early Buddhism: A Case Study (Dr Andrew Skilton, University of Oxford)

1745 – 1815: Discussion
1900 – 21.00: Welcome Dinner – Harrison Room, Selwyn College (for speakers and some guests)

Saturday April 29th: Runcie Room, Faculty of Divinity
0900 – 0920: Arrival, registration and light meal, coffee/tea served on site
0920 – 0930: Brief Welcome (Dr Chris Jones, University of Cambridge)
Chair for morning session: Chris Jones, University of Cambridge

0930 – 1015: Comparison between the Buddha Visualization of Early Mahāyāna Buddhism and the Buddhānusmṛti in the Yogalehrbuch (Dr Wen Zhao, Nankai University – Presenting Remotely)

1015 – 1100: Five Formulae in the Buddhist Yoga Manual and *Abhidharmamahāvibhāṣā Concerning the Immeasurable Meditations (Dr Henry Albery, Ghent University)

1100 – 1215: Brunch – at Selwyn College; sandwiches, with cooked brunch available also
1215 – 1300: The Scheme of Yoga in the ‘Buddhist Yoga Manual’ vis-à-vis Sarvāstivāda Meditation Traditions (Dr Constanze Pabst von Ohain, Ludwig-Maximilians- Universität München)

1300 – 1345: The Yogalehrbuch, Chapter 8, Karuṇā: Sarvāstivāda System and Visionary Images (Prof Yamabe Nobuyoshi, Waseda University)

1345 – 1430: Discussion and Close
1500 – 16.30: Observing the World’s oldest illustrated Sanskrit Buddhist manuscript and
other manuscripts at the Cambridge University Library (optional)

1900 – 21.00: Farewell Dinner for those who remain at Cambridge – at a Robinson College (optional)

Sunday April 30th
Before 10.00: Accommodation Check out. (optional)


See original post at DIRI

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Full schedule Buddhist Meditative Visual Experiences Workshop